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  • Writer's pictureDarren T

INTRODUCTION - A New & Living Way - (i) My Journey

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

As a Christadelphian my life focus has been on the future. The kingdom of God which is to come.

I never really had a category or definition which adequately captured or described my life Now! What was I actually doing Now?

How was God interacting with me Now?

To me, it seemed like Now was a sort of holding pattern. Yes, I kept busy contributing to the ecclesia and providing for my family, but not really engaging with God.

The atmosphere in my family and ecclesial life was that of an expectation of the imminent return of Jesus Christ to the earth.

We were living in the last days, prophecy and current events were converging onto my lifetime. In 1988 we commemorated the 40th anniversary of the State of Israel. This generation would "not pass away" and the 40th year held much promise.

There was no doubt in our minds that Christ would return either then or very soon thereafter. Over 30 years has passed since then, my faith in the return of Christ is still strong, the imminence and timing of it is something that nowadays I leave up to God.

I remember leaving school and contemplating going to university as I wasn't particularly practical and a Trade or physical job would not really suit me.

My decision to attend university was met with strong opposition by both my peers and some of the senior brethren I interacted with. The decision to commit myself to years of future education seemed to them a display of faithlessness. Christ was about to return, why would I take on this commitment? What sort of example did this give to the younger generation who looked to me as an example?

Time has gone on, many of those who were upset with me have either gone on to study at university themselves or their own children have. I don't bring this up to be petty or bitter, to me its just another illustration that we, as a community, don't really have a good handle on what we are supposed to be doing in the Now!

Maybe the older generations did, but if this is true, it doesn't seem to have filtered down to us. The vibe we picked up was that of living a good, clean, middle class life, contributing to the ecclesia as much as possible and hunkering down, waiting for the imminent return of our Lord. Current Events nights, Bible Schools and Fraternal events provided us with motivation and spiritual direction. Even our neighbors and non believing relatives become invisible under this world view.

And so this brings me to the point of my blog.

My feeling and experience is that our brotherhood (which I love) has a strong Past and Future focus but in my opinion seems to flounder when it comes to defining the Now in terms of our current life and current interaction with God.

We look back with interest and awe at God's involvement in the lives of the Patriarchs and the history of Israel, we get excited and uplifted when we look at current events and feel they are demonstrating the imminent return of Christ. We know a lot about the physical reality of the Kingdom, the events subsequent and the millennium era. God's work in the past and God's work in the future seem to possess our psyche.

But, when I quietly sit and chat with my peers and friends, even those who are considered as "prominent" and "leaders" in our community there is often an honest and heartfelt admission that we are struggling. Our prayer life is perfunctory, our intimacy with God is something we mention in exhortations and talks but not always a dynamic reality on our lives.

The unification of Europe in the 1990s, the fall of the Berlin Wall, September 11, The Iraq War etc. etc. have come and gone. The dopamine hits we once experienced when a big geo-political event occurred is reducing and I don't believe we can (or should) rely on these things to be the only or even the main motivations in our lives.

It's not all bad though. Our Past and Future focus is really special and I am not saying we minimize or reduce these at all.

What I am saying is that we need a powerful Bible based focus on the Now! and believe me there is lots of it it the Bible, we just need to unearth it and take it into our hearts and minds.

So in this blog I want to think about what it means to be in Christ Now?

How do we relate to God Now?

What is our status before God Now?

What does the Lord require of us Now?

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